Kylian Mbappe scored twice for the second game in a row but picked up a thigh injury as Paris Saint-Germain climbed top of Ligue 1 on Saturday with a 3-1 victory at Metz. The France striker was rested for the midweek cup rout of Angers and returned to bolster PSG’s title hopes as he netted either side of Fabien Centonze’s equaliser to send the defending champions above Lille. However, Mbappe was substituted in the closing minutes with a heavily strapped thigh, a worrying sign for PSG ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg at home to Manchester City. Mauro Icardi sealed the victory with a penalty a minute from time.
“He took a knock to his quad, it’s a dead leg. We don’t think it’s anything serious,” Pochettino told Canal Plus, playing down concerns Mbappe could miss the City game.
“Kylian was calm and relaxed. We hope it’s just soreness.”
PSG are now two points clear of Lille, who visit fourth-placed Lyon on Sunday while Monaco, the form side in the second half of the season, are four points back ahead of their trip to Angers.
Neymar was restored to the line-up after serving a two-match ban for his red card against Lille, while Marco Verratti made his first start in over a month following a positive Covid-19 test.
Having scored twice in the dramatic 3-2 win over Saint-Etienne last weekend, Mbappe gave PSG the lead inside five minutes as he ran onto Ander Herrera’s chipped pass and fired in via the post.
Centonze tested Keylor Navas as Metz sought to snap a run of nine successive league defeats by PSG, and the full-back levelled early in the second half by heading in Farid Boulaya’s cross.
Pape Matar Sarr was then denied by Navas before PSG punished Metz for losing the ball deep in their half, as Mbappe drilled in with the aid of a deflection from 20 yards.
Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja made a fantastic reflex stop to thwart Leandro Paredes and Herrera rattled the woodwork, with Boulaya then racing back to clear Mbappe’s dinked effort off the line.
Mbappe was replaced by Julian Draxler after appearing to hurt his thigh, and Icardi won and converted a late penalty to make it five goals in three games for the Argentine.
FANS PROTEST IN BORDEAUX
Some 1,000 Bordeaux supporters protested in front of the city’s town hall on Saturday demanding the resignation of president Frederic Longuepee, accusing him of plunging the club into bankruptcy.
Bordeaux, the six-time French champions founded in 1881, were warned this week they could go out of business after their American owners said they wanted to pull the plug.
American investment fund King Street announced Thursday it was divesting itself of Bordeaux because of “the economic context linked to the Covid-19 pandemic and the withdrawal of (broadcast group) Mediapro (which) caused an unprecedented drop in revenues for French football clubs.”
“His mere presence is harmful, he has to resign. As long as he’s here we will not be able to rebuild,” said Florian Brunet and Laurent Perpigna, spokesmen for the club’s Ultramarines supporter group.
While King Street has appointed an administrator to seek out new investment, Bordeaux mayor Pierre Hurmic said the city is “involved in the choice of the future buyer” of the club.
Thirty years ago Bordeaux were relegated from the top-flight for administrative reasons.